Saturday, July 02, 2011

Baseball is Poop - We're Halfway There

Most teams have played between 80 and 82 games so it's time for me to be lazy and mathematically unsound and simply double players' stats to get their projections over a full season.
I'll also be giving out mid-season awards, since Master Bates and I have been debating it recently.

Yankee Stadium is a Joke
They really need to move back the right field wall in Yankee Stadium this offseason. The new ballpark is an embarrassment. If they haven't done so already the sabremetricians need to come up with separate ballpark adjustments to gauge the impact of this bandbox has on left-handed hitters. Mark Teixeira has 25 (16 home, but I couldn't find his lefty/righty split at Yankee Stadium specifically), Curtis Granderson 21 (12 home). I guess those splits aren't incredibly out-of-whack but Tex is not even having a good season. and he's still on pace to hit 50.

Joey Bats
Jose Bautista has really slowed down. His OPS is down to only 1147. Yes, I said only facetiously. No he couldn't have kept up a 1300 pace but 1100 is usually good enough to lead the majors. Good things RBI is an overrated statistic, he's on pace to barely reach 100.

A Change of Scenery Did Him Good
Adrian Gonzalez is enjoying his trip from the outhouse to the penthouse. He is putting up sick numbers roughly .350/.400/.600 in the slash numbers. He's 9 homers behind Teixeira but if he hits 30 homers, drives in 140 and hits even .330, that would be an incredible season -- for the traditional stats.

Triple Your Pleasure
Jose Reyes is almost a lock to break the modern-day (post-war) record for triples in a season. Curtis Granderson hit 23 in 2007, and Reyes already has 15 at the halfway mark.

Let's Check the Pitchers
Right now we have three guys with 11 wins, who could easily get to 20: Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia and Jair Jurrjens. At 10 you have Jon Lester, but also Roy Halladay and Kevin Correia. It's also amazing that at this point in the season you still have two starters with sub-2 ERAs, Jered Weaver and Jurrjens.

And the Closers
It is simply amazing that Mariano Rivera is still closing games (on pace for 42 save, slightly more than his age) at this stage in his career, with a 1.69 ERA. The other among the leaders in saves do surprise me though. You've got Joel Hanrahan, Craig Kimbrel, Brandon League and Serigo Santos all on pace for at least 35.

Now onto the Awards
NL MVP: Prince Fielder
Matt Kemp might be having the best season statistically in the NL, but his team stinks so he's out. Jose Reyes is carrying the Mets right now, he is always on base and he is the catalyst for a surprisingly good offense (4th in the NL in runs scored). I just don't think a leadoff hitter can quite measure up to a slugging middle of the order guy. Especially when the slugger is on base more frequently than the leadoff hitter. The other mitigating factor for Reyes might be that Ryan Braun, is nearly as good as Fielder. Still, I would go with Prince.

AL MVP: Adrian Gonzalez
You can't really make an argument for anyone else. Bautista, Miguel Cabrera and Paul Konerko are all having good seasons, but no one is pounding the ball the way Gonzalez is or producing runs the way he is.

NL Cy Young: Jair Jurrjens
I obviously love the fact that Halladay has 5 complete games, and Cliff Lee has 4 shuouts, compared to Jurrjens's 2 and 1, but if a guy has half a run lead in ERA and is still not the Cy Young, what the hell would he have to do. That said, there is a strong possibility Jurrjens will fall off in the second half. His BABIP is .257, compared to a more normal .303 for Halladay. And his FIP is 3.07 compared to 2.40 for Halladay and 2.55 for Lee. That tells me Jurrjens is getting the benefit of good fielding and balls hit right at his fielders. Some of that is skill, but some of that is luck as well, very often fleeting.

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
This is very close between Verlander and Jered Weaver. Weaver is better in ERA (1.97 to 2.32) but everything else is very close. Weaver has 3 CG and 2 SHO, Verlander has 4 and 2. Walks are almost identical, Verlander has more strikeouts. My perception of how they are doing tilts it to Verlander. Weaver started off incredibly well, then lost 4 starts in a row. Verlander has had a no-hitter, a near no-hitter and some other dominating performances. One note: Verlander has a .222 BABIP. And he strikes out of a ton of guys. So even when they are making contact, it's not going for hits. Let's see if that keeps up.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Would You Bang? Kelis

Would you bang Kelis? She always looks like someone different. You never know who you're going to get. Could her milkshake bring you to the yard?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Two Celebrities, One Block

I saw Bobby Ojeda parking his car at the same garage I use. At first I thought it was Paul Reiser. But then the parking attendant called him Bobby. He was talking to the attendant when I started to drive, and I almost hit him because he started walking without looking.

Then, when I drove around the corner I saw a very tall man getting into a taxi. A taxi stopped at a red light in a center lane, not the far left lane. That is an unadvisable practice. But I guess no one is going run over former Knick great and U.S. Senator, Bill Bradley.

Song of the Week

"Love You Like I Did" - 112
Still one of my favorite groups ever. This one never got released as a single and it was one of the rare songs Slim didn't sing lead. I believe this is Daron.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Julian is Going to Have a Low Daytime Batting Average

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was asked the explain the wide disparity between his performance during the day (399 OPS) and at night (1070 OPS). Basically he is Mickey Mantle at night, and Mickey Mouse when the sun is out.
And that may be the reason. Hamilton says because he has blue eyes, he has a harder time seeing during the day.

Of course a few other ballplayers with blue eyes backed him up, including Jason Bay who is actually doing better during the day (695 vs. 590 at night). But ESPN actually found an optometrist to back him up:

Dr. Richard L. Ison says, "Because of the lack of pigment in lighter color eyes -- like blue or green eyes as opposed to brown -- you get a lot more unwanted light and that can create glare problems".
Ison said the phenomenon is called intraocular light scatter, meaning the light scatters as it enters, producing a focal point that isn't as good.

For his career, Hamilton has a 723 OPS during the day and 977 at night. Now I suppose there are other reasons that could explain this though we don't think he is out at night boozing and chasing skirts like he used to be. So if it's not lack of sleep, it could be randomness, some guys just do better during the day, others do better at night. Or maybe there really is something to this eye thing.

If so we're going to have to get Julian to wear eye black at an early age.

Do Bumblebees Have Sex?

I think I saw two bumblebees fucking. They landed on a leaf on a bush where I was standing and they were not disturbed at all by my flash photography.

The internet says they do in fact mate, and they usually mate with the male hanging on to the queen's back.